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Excursions in Iceland June 24. Ships tours or independent companies?


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Any recommendations please? We normally do a mixture of both, but FOCL seem to be very cagey about advertising arrival and departures times at each port! We did a Norway cruise with them last year and I’m sure these times were published.

Any suggestions on what is a ‘must see’? 

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20 minutes ago, Karen13 said:

Any recommendations please? We normally do a mixture of both, but FOCL seem to be very cagey about advertising arrival and departures times at each port! We did a Norway cruise with them last year and I’m sure these times were published.

Any suggestions on what is a ‘must see’? 

 

We've visited Iceland with several different cruise-lines and several times with FOCL as well as flying up and staying independently. 

 

What we've generally found with FOCL is that the time ashore is always too uncertain and, unless its an overnight stay, too short to do the great majority of tours without fear of arriving back late and being fined by FOCL or much worse!

 

FOCL's T&Cs are... "When in port, you are responsible for ensuring that you embark the vessel in advance of the advertised sailing times. FOCL will not delay the vessel’s departure should you fail to embark the vessel at the correct time. In such circumstances where you fail to embark the vessel prior to sailing, you will not be entitled to any refund, compensation, or contribution to or reimbursement of travel costs or expenses, and you will be liable to pay any fines, losses and/or immigration costs."

 

As far as the trips are concerned... We've found that Snafelness Peninsula, Ice Cave, Lava Tunnel, Blue Lagoon, Flight over the Icecap, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Whale-watching from any of the North coast ports have been excellent.

 

The Golden Circle we've found has become more and more rushed over the years and the Whale-watching trips from Reykjavík is disappointing in our view... lots of dashing about, leaping from one side of the ship to another just to miss a small splash or two half a mile away.

 

If we could do just one trip again it would be Flight over the Icecap or the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon.

 

Hope that you have a good time.

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On 4/14/2024 at 5:41 PM, Karen13 said:

Any recommendations please? We normally do a mixture of both, but FOCL seem to be very cagey about advertising arrival and departures times at each port! We did a Norway cruise with them last year and I’m sure these times were published.

Any suggestions on what is a ‘must see’? 

I replied to a similar question on the Roll Calls board -

 

 

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On 4/14/2024 at 5:41 PM, Karen13 said:

Any recommendations please? We normally do a mixture of both, but FOCL seem to be very cagey about advertising arrival and departures times at each port! We did a Norway cruise with them last year and I’m sure these times were published.

Any suggestions on what is a ‘must see’? 

Different cruise, but we went on the Northern Lights cruise in March, booked several trips through FOCL. As it turned out we could not dock in Bodo (sadly bad weather conditions) and as we had booked a tour to the Saltraumen maelstrom and sea eagles through FOCL we were immediately reimbursed. We also got insurance cover for missed ports so were compensated financially for this (though would still have far rather done the excursion).  With hindsight it's probably a bit risky booking independently (though it appears cheaper, which is very annoying). However, in Tromso, a couple we shared a dinner table with had booked Independently a cycling trip - this was successful for them.  FOCL never really seem to publish times in port (as you say a bit vague) and I would be nervous of booking something unless I was absolutely certain of the times.

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On 4/22/2024 at 3:25 PM, cymrucat23 said:

Different cruise, but we went on the Northern Lights cruise in March, booked several trips through FOCL. As it turned out we could not dock in Bodo (sadly bad weather conditions) and as we had booked a tour to the Saltraumen maelstrom and sea eagles through FOCL we were immediately reimbursed. We also got insurance cover for missed ports so were compensated financially for this (though would still have far rather done the excursion).  With hindsight it's probably a bit risky booking independently (though it appears cheaper, which is very annoying). However, in Tromso, a couple we shared a dinner table with had booked Independently a cycling trip - this was successful for them.  FOCL never really seem to publish times in port (as you say a bit vague) and I would be nervous of booking something unless I was absolutely certain of the times.

We’ve done lots of independent trips - including those in Iceland above - and never had any problems.

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17 hours ago, Leither said:

We’ve done lots of independent trips - including those in Iceland above - and never had any problems.

Have you ever had a missed port and claimed on insurance for the missed trip Leither? Genuinely interested as we claimed for our missed port which was fine, but of course as we had booked an excursion via FOCL it was automatically refunded by FOCL.  Thanks 🙂 

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20 minutes ago, cymrucat23 said:

Have you ever had a missed port and claimed on insurance for the missed trip Leither? Genuinely interested as we claimed for our missed port which was fine, but of course as we had booked an excursion via FOCL it was automatically refunded by FOCL.  Thanks 🙂 

Funnily enough, I hadn't thought about claiming for a missed port until I read your post. We do have cruise cover as an add-on & I checked, supposedly can claim £150. Last year our FO cruise couldn't call at Praia de Vitoria because of storms so I've submitted a claim this morning.

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On 4/28/2024 at 5:50 PM, Leither said:

We’ve done lots of independent trips - including those in Iceland above - and never had any problems.

Hi again Leither , or anybody else that will have had experience of this- having now booked Dover to Iceland (a bit late booking this for July departure) A couple of the FOCL tours we would like are fully booked, so have now booked some independent tours! One is an 'anchor port' stop for Heimaey. I can't seem to find information on FOCL website - do you know the frequency of 'tenders' to the port when it's an anchor port? Is it just in the morning then pick up at the end of the day - or are tenders running throughout the day?  Thanks 🙂

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4 hours ago, cymrucat23 said:

Hi again Leither , or anybody else that will have had experience of this- having now booked Dover to Iceland (a bit late booking this for July departure) A couple of the FOCL tours we would like are fully booked, so have now booked some independent tours! One is an 'anchor port' stop for Heimaey. I can't seem to find information on FOCL website - do you know the frequency of 'tenders' to the port when it's an anchor port? Is it just in the morning then pick up at the end of the day - or are tenders running throughout the day?  Thanks 🙂

In my experience, tenders tend to go on throughout the day.

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59 minutes ago, Leither said:

In my experience, tenders tend to go on throughout the day.

Thank you - I thought as much, but needed some confirmation from someone with experience 🙂 

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